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Harpal Sandhu co-founded Integral in 1993 with Viral Tolat. In the late 1990s Harpal foresaw the dramatic impact that e-commerce would have on wholesale capital markets. He began adapting Integral's strategy and core technologies — the risk management, analysis and capital markets trading... More
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  • Dankeschoen 0 comments
    Nov 21, 2012 5:39 PM

    Just as I was looking for a new idea for how to tout the advantages of cloud computing in a different way, Deutsche Bank comes around and does it for me. And, they do it in a very convincing, 20-minute-long video that is very professionally done, featuring senior executives of their FX organization, both from the business and the IT side.

    Granted, they talk about open source and we are talking about cloud computing but these are only different paths up the same mountain. The mountain is called shared IT infrastructure. The ultimate benefits for the end customer are increased operational efficiencies, dramatically reduced costs and lower barriers of entry. And they are the same with both approaches.

    What the executives say as well is that the do-it-yourself model is dead. Kaputt.

    You can read about it in the Financial Times or watch the video, but below are some of the most salient statements. While there are a number of people interviewed at length including Zar Amrolia, Global Head of FX, and Dirk Ward, Head Autobahn FX Product Management, I think Kevin Rodgers, Head of FX Spot, Derivatives and eTrading, puts it best. Here are a few excerpts:

    "If everything we do in IT or telecom is meant to be a competitive advantage, where do we stop? Do banks create their own telephones, their own telephone exchanges? Do we build our own servers? No. Do we build our own operating systems? No. "

    "Bankers Trust did create its own operating system called Bits. We spent millions on this thing and frankly, it didn't give us much at all. And when we merged with Deutsche Bank, it was thrown away."

    "If we can find a way as an industry to collaborate and to make the creation of a lot of our software and a lot of our software components open source, the advantages I think are pretty obvious. Overall, we'll cut costs as an industry. And we can pass that on to our customers. Overall, we can create a foreign exchange industry that is faster, cheaper and better for everybody."

    What Deutsche is trying to achieve with open source, we already built; out of a similar conviction: A shared IT infrastructure for FX that we call FX Grid. Cloud services that are extremely easy and cost effective to deploy, in far less time than it takes to spec a proprietary system.

    The vision these Deutsche Bank executives are talking about - a FX industry that is faster, cheaper and better for everybody - is already reality for customers of Integral.

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